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QE2 To Be Transformed Into Five-Star Hotel

(c) Sky News 2013

The owner of the QE2 has outlined plans to turn the liner into a luxury hotel moored in an Asian harbour.

Shipyard operator Drydocks World, which belongs to the Dubai government, says the MS Queen Elizabeth 2 will be transformed into a five-star hotel with 500 rooms.

Oceanic Group, part of the consortium that will renovate the ship, said it will include 100,000 square feet of retail space, three Michelin (Paris: FR0000121261 - news) -starred restaurants, an on-board maritime museum and ballroom.

"The vision for the QE2 is for her to become a landmark cultural and tourist attraction-a beacon of luxury, glamour, quality and tradition - in the heart of a leading Asian city that shares her rich maritime heritage and is prepared to give this very special ship the prominent waterfront home she so richly deserves," Drydocks World said in a statement.

"The consortium will lavish many millions of dollars on this magnificent ship to restore her to the splendour of her glory days as an icon of the very best the world has to offer."

It said a number of Asian cities have expressed an interest in the ship, although its final destination is being kept a closely-guarded secret.

Oceanic Group added: "The QE2 is an awe-inspiring ship with a rich history and the onboard experience will bring visitors back to her grand old days as the queen of the seas.

"Whether guests stay, dine or host events aboard the QE2, they will be guaranteed an utterly unique experience and memories to last a lifetime."

The announcement ends intense speculation about the future of the vessel since its retirement.

It was bought in 2007 for around £50m at the height of the economic boom in the United Arab Emirates, but has sat idle in a Dubai port for more than four years.

Tickets for its voyage to Dubai in 2008 sold out almost instantly, with some berths going for more than £28,000.

The iconic vessel, which was launched by the Queen in 1967, carried a total of 2.5 million passengers across the Atlantic Ocean between Southampton and New York while in operation.

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